Pharmacists can prescribe contraceptives, treatments for minor ailments

Starting 1 June 2023, people in BC can get prescriptions from their pharmacist for contraceptives and medications to treat 21 minor ailments, such as allergies, shingles, cold sores, pink eye, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections.

To access the new minor ailment and prescription contraception service, BC residents with a Personal Health Number can visit a pharmacy in person or call to schedule an appointment. Starting 29 June 2023, they can also book appointments online.

Through the new service, a pharmacist can make an assessment of the patient’s presenting symptoms, check their medical history, and recommend an appropriate treatment, which may include self-care advice, over-the-counter medications, or prescription medications. Some patients may also be advised to see another health care provider if the condition is deemed nonminor or if there are other concerns warranting further exams by a doctor or nurse practitioner.

The online appointment booking system will be similar to the Get Vaccinated system people used to book COVID-19 and influenza vaccination appointments. People will be able to locate pharmacies that offer the service they need, be referred to a self-assessment guide to make sure the service is suitable for them, then proceed to book an appointment with the pharmacy of their choice.

The change follows an expansion of pharmacists’ scope of practice in October 2022, which allowed pharmacists to adapt and renew prescriptions for a wider range of drugs and conditions, and administer a wider range of drugs by injection or intranasally further to a prescription.

Learn about the new minor ailment and prescription contraceptive services available through pharmacies: 


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. Pharmacists can prescribe contraceptives, treatments for minor ailments. BCMJ, Vol. 65, No. 5, June, 2023, Page(s) - News.

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